The Tongva use popoot for many medicinal and non-medicinal purposes. It seems to help gastrointestinal and skin problems. The Tongva alleviate kidney and bladder disorders by drinking a tea made from crushed popoot stems. For stomach pain, they make a decoction from the whole plant. To help with diarrhea, the Tongva combine popoot roots and bark to make a thick decoction. Also, they use the stems as a diuretic— however, they contain silica that must be stripped off before they are used. In addition, a light infusion of the roots can be used to reduce fever. The Tongva use popoot as a general tonic for the heart and lungs. Finally, they burn popoot because this smoke is believed to revitalize a lethargic person.

Popoot also provides relief for skin-related symptoms. A poultice made from the leaves can be applied to reduce inflammation from spider bites, as well as from burns and sores. Also, a compress of the stem applied to a wound will help stop bleeding. For hair lice, the Tongva wash their hair with a decoction made of the plant. Finally, a mouthwash from popoot stems is used to cleanse the mouth.

There are many non-medicinal uses of popoot. The horsetail’s abrasive stalks , when bound together, will polish arrows, stone works, and wooden objects. Also, popoot provides a viable source of sandpaper, and gives off a yellow dye used in basketry.

Equisetum arvense

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©  Mario Incayawar, M.D., 2010

Disclaimer: All material provided here is for educational purposes only. Consult your own physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.